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Plants in the Alpine House or Cold Frame: Flowering in May 2012

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Started by: Jon Evans

Go to latest contribution by Jon Evans, 11 May 2012, 12:13. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Jon Evans 10 May 2012, 17:41top / bottom of page

A few new flowers from the alpine house on another dank and dismal day.

Allium tripedale

I used to grow this outside in a cold frame; it is certainly hardy enough. However, the flower stems are over 3 feet high, and I need to lower that frame lid at this time of year to help the other bulbs dry off. So now the allium (formerly Nectaroscordum) is flowering in the centre of my alpine house. Despite having three bulbs now, I have never managed to get it to set seed, but fortunately it makes very occasional offsets.

Allium tripedale
Schizanthus coccineus

Next a plant which is an occasional weed in the alpine house (I get about a dozen seedlings a year). I believe this is Schizanthus coccineus - can anyone confirm that ?

Schizanthus coccineus
Homeria collina

This appeared in another pot of seedling bulbs, and has taken several years to flower. I think it is Homeria (now Moraea) collina, but again would appreciate anyone else's opinion on that.

Homeria collina
Tritonia deusta

Finally, the Tritonias have started to flower, despite the dearth of sunshine.

Tritonia deusta
Tritonia securigera
Tritonia securigera

Contribution from Tim Ingram 10 May 2012, 22:20top / bottom of page

That is quite some allium Jon, certainly far more attractive than the free seeding Nectaroscordum that I grow in the garden. This genus (Allium that is) is one that I, and I expect many others, don't know well but there are obviously many lovely species and so useful for flowering often much later than other bulbs. Would this species grow happily outside do you think?

Contribution from Jon Evans 11 May 2012, 12:13top / bottom of page

Hi Tim

It is certainly a great plant, 3ft+ tall with balls of flowers 3-4 inches across. It comes from quite high up in the Caucasus, so should be cold hardy and probably would do fine in a well-drained location in the garden, but it is so scarce and difficult to obtain (very few offsets, so propagate from seed if you can get it, but it takes 6+ years to flower) that I wouldn't trust my local snails with it - they seem partial to alliums. Janis Ruksans used to sell bulbs (maybe still does, I haven't seen his list this year), but they weren't cheap, and now I grow it I can see why.



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